The European Union (EU) advanced this Wednesday towards the imposition of negative covid-19 tests on travelers from China who arrive in community territory, in response to the rise in infections in the Asian giant.
“Member States are strongly recommended to introduce, for all passengers coming from China (…) the requirement of a negative covid-19 test carried out no more than 48 hours before departure” from the Asian country, says a statement released after a meeting of the Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) group.
At that meeting, in which community institutions and other experts participate in addition to the countries of the bloc, the EU agreed on “a coordinated precautionary approach” on the measures to be imposed on travelers from Chinain light of the coronavirus situation in that country and taking into account “the need for sufficient and reliable data and the relaxation of travel restrictions by Beijing as of January 8.
Member States also agreed recommend to all passengers of flights to and from China the use of masks. They also pledged to “issue recommendations to incoming and outgoing international travelers with origin or destination in China” and to aircraft and airport personnel, in relation to personal hygiene and health measures.
He was also encouraged to complement those measures with randomized tests of passengers upon arrival in the Member States and to carry out the sequencing of all positive results, in order to reinforce the surveillance of the epidemiological situation.
Countries were also invited to carry out testing and sequencing of wastewater from airports with international flights and aircraft arriving from China. Finally, the EU agreed to continue promoting vaccines, including booster doses, particularly among vulnerable groups.
The Integrated Political Response to Crisis group promised this Wednesday to continue monitoring the epidemiological situation in the EU and China to guarantee European coordination of any measure deemed necessary. Member States also agreed to assess the situation and review the measures introduced in mid-January.
On Tuesday, at a meeting of experts from the Health Security Committee in Brussels, it was recorded that a large majority of Member States supported the idea of requesting covid-19 tests from all travelers from China before they even leave the country. . “Unity continues to be our strongest tool against covid,” stressed the same day the European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, through her Twitter account.
Sweden, which presides over the Council of the European Union in the first half of the year, called the meeting on Wednesday to advance in the coordination of measures through a common approach.
In the last days countries such as Italy, Spain, France, USA, India, United Kingdom, Australia or Japan, among others, restrictions have been announced and PCR tests on travelers from China, and Morocco has even banned entry to the country. For its part, China on Tuesday described the restrictions as “disproportionate” and “unacceptable.”